No tender two-step for Megan and Don. She seems peeved, and Don is… Well, what and where exactly is Don these days?
He’s not in sync with his winsome wife – or himself. He’s out of sorts, uninspired, and feeling attacked. Counter culture is beginning to point its accusatory finger at the Establishment, and no more clearly than in a play the Drapers attend. And what’s more establishment than men in gray suits on Madison Avenue?
All generational and occupational friction aside, Don misses Megan around the office. But it’s something else. He isn’t into his work. He’s like the square peg – and I mean square – in the round hole. He’s going through the motions, maneuvering under a dark cloud, and the Missus doesn’t care for the shadow.
It’s impossible not to notice our hero out of place and time – pointedly so in later scenes as he and Joanie share drinks at a midtown bar. They look oh so 1960, and not very soon-to-be 1967!
Beam Me Up, Harry Krishna!
Don and Megan may not be dancing, but Paul Kinsey – remember him? – he’s kicking up his heels, in a manner of speaking. He’s now a card carrying member of the Hari Krishnas – shaven head with tuft of hair and all.
Harry Crane meets up with him, is drawn into a full blown Krishna Consciousness encounter, and is swept up momentarily in the frenzy of blissful chanting. He’s also not immune to the charms of Paul’s girlfriend, Lakshmi.
It turns out that Paul actually wants out of Krishnaville, but he’s hanging in for his luscious Lakshmi – runaway turned prostitute turned devotee of the spiritual life. And oh by the way – Paul has written a script for Star Trek! Might Harry slip it to the execs at NBC, or maybe Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry himself?
Shades of Trouble with Tribbles! And when Paul’s lady love shows up at Harry’s office, bends herself over the his desk, and takes one for the team? Can you say seduction scene as leverage? Attempted blackmail?
Expediency in all things – Lakshmi doesn’t want Paul persuaded to pull out… of the organization. It’s not that she loves him, but he’s a talented recruiter and a great “closer.” She says to Harry:
I did this for the movement.
Lane, You Naughty Tap Dancing Boy
It may be Christmas Bonus Season at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and Santa’s contemplating a Jaguar under someone’s tree – or the Jaguar account in a few months. But Mr. Pryce is tiptoeing through the tulips, or rather, the agency books.
Apparently he owes the Queen’s Tax Man a Pile of Pounds Sterling. The only way to get the money is a little tap dancing at the bank, then persuading the partners to issue bonuses.
Lane needs his bucks post-haste, so he forges Don’s signature on a check – hey, it’s just an advance of a few days – then he pays the Man for his Get Out of Jail Free card. But Holy Heartache! The partners decide to defer bonuses, and only give them to the staff.
Quick – someone call the Krishnas! Chant something! Lane’s going to be in serious hot water. Lane! Never count your chickens (or your Jaguars) before they’re hatched!
Don and Joan Don’t Do the Horizontal Mambo
Roger is sloshed at 8 in the a.m. And wearing a tacky red shirt besides. It seems the dapper Mr. Sterling has been trying to give Joan money to help with baby Kevin, and she keeps sending it back. In a poignant moment of reminiscing, Joan shoos Roger out of her office – and later, after being served divorce papers by her hubby, Don and Joan do a Jaguar run (hot, hot, hot!) – followed by drinks into the night.
The beauty of these scenes?
Besides reveling in the stunning Christina Hendricks standing next to a 1966 red Jaguar XKE – both are spectacular and the combination, dazzling – after Don and Joan test drive, the exchange between Don and Joan shows signs of genuine friendship.
They talk marriage, relationships, men, women; Joanie was raised to be admired, and she misses those days of flowers arriving at the office. Times are changing, Joanie! You and Don, sitting in that bar – you both seem like you’re from another era – one that was only a few years back, but as the late sixties explode on the scene, you’re strangely anachronistic.
Couples dance in the background, Don is aware that a good looking guy is sizing Joan up, he exits gracefully and leaves her carfare. It’s a gentlemanly act (carfare!), and another example of one which echoes an earlier era.
A delicious mention? Don sends her roses to the office the next morning, signing the card Ali Kahn – a private joke.
Episode 10 Setting Up for… What?
I can’t say this was a splendid episode, but if it’s purpose is to remind us how much social upheaval is about to explode on the scene, it succeeds. The generation gap is widening, alternatives to traditional lifestyles are popping up, divorce is becoming more commonplace, and the wave of those who will soon drop out is gaining momentum.
For the women, I can envision many possibilities. Betty may continue to hide in food and booze, and Sally will pay the price – turning to drugs, to running away, to anything not to become her mother. Joan may evolve into the next Mrs. Robinson. Peggy? Megan? Their choices will be plentiful, but not without consequences.
But what’s in store for the 30-something and 40-something men in 1967, much less men of Roger’s age or Bert’s? Certainly, Roger’s mention of World War II in a conversation with Joan serves as a reminder that his youth was more than two decades earlier.
What about Don? Rewriting your past to reinvent yourself is one thing. The monumental wave of change that’s about to hit? Who will he become then?
As this episode closes, Pete attempts to motivate the staff with his announcement about Jaguar. They don’t have the account yet, but they’re in the running. No one is impressed. Then Don steps up to bat and knocks it out of the park, with rousing words that fire everyone up for the good fight – to win the business.
Don’s leadership and charisma remain intact. But his head and his heart aren’t in the game. He’s disoriented, and the reasons are bigger than anything he can control. What’s next for him? Can he reinvent himself again – and if so, as what?